Witch Tips: Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the giving of something to a deity.  Its role in personal practice varies from individual to individual   Some people give at sabbats and holidays, while others give when called.  Some traditional ideas include:

  • Incense
  • Candles
  • Libations of beverages
  • Food and herbs
  • Money

In terms of what to give for what reason or with what method, well that’s up to you.  For myself, I like to use the following guidelines:

  • Look to Lore: A lot of myths contain a detail, such as a plant or object, that would be appropriate to give to that God or Goddess.  For example, consider 6 pomegranate seeds to Persephone or a feather to Horus. This does not need to be used every time, but it certainly is a good place to start.
  • Timing:  Is it a day sacred to your deity? Do you think the moon cycle is important to this sacrifice? Or is this something spontaneous? 
  • Logistics: Living in a dorm room? Can’t burn anything.  So what’s your alternative?
  • Why: While I think it is important to honor the deities you work with on a regular basis, is there another motive you are sacrificing to deity? Perhaps you need a question answered or clarified.  Examine these before proceeding.

One thing I think is rarely appropriate is blood or flesh sacrifice. Yes, I know it is traditional and whatnot, but I am not comfortable with killing animals or injuring oneself in the name of deity.  I know some people are called to do that, but please examine all other forms of sacrifice first.  And remember a flesh sacrifice can also be a piece of chicken meat from the grocery store, not just a live chicken.  If you are called to animal sacrifice, please look at the legal requirements in your state about humane methods and remain disposal.

Regardless of what form you choose, I think it is important to take a moment and properly thank the deity for their role in your life. Obviously that is part of the reason why you are offering the sacrifice to begin with, but I think it reinforces the practice in your mind. The method can be as simple as closing your eyes and thanksgiving quietly.

© Ariadne Woods

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